How We Test
The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
MSI continues its Z-series Gaming Pro motherboards, giving the latest implementation similar features as previous models. Pricing should also end up similar. The exact board details and specifications can be found on the manufacturer's website.
A Note On Multi-Core Enhancement (MCE)
MSI motherboards feature a default Enhanced Turbo feature that allows the processor to run at its maximum Turbo Boost bin on all cores, at all times. This setting modifies the CPU's clock rate and voltage to deliver higher performance, which is basically factory-sanctioned overclocking. Again, MSI turns this on by default in its BIOS, similar to most of its competition. Performance, power consumption, and heat are all affected, naturally. We manually disable this feature for our stock CPU testing to best reflect Intel's specifications.
We introduced our new test system and methodology in How We Test Graphics Cards. If you'd like more detail about our general approach, check that piece out.
In this case, only the hardware configuration with CPU, RAM, mainboard, as well as the new cooling system are different, so the summary in table form gives a quick overview of the systems used:
|Test System & Configuration|
|Hardware||Germany Intel LGA 1151 (Z370):Intel Core i5-8600K, i7-8700KMSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 @ 2666AMD Socket AM4 WorkstationAMD Ryzen 7 1700, Ryzen 5 1600XMSI X370 Tomahawk4x 8GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 @ 2667 and 3200 Intel LGA 1151 (Z270)Intel Core i5-7600KMSI Z270 Gaming 72x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 @ 2400 and 3200All SystemsGeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition (Gaming)Nvidia Quadro P6000 (Workstation)1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System)2x 960GB Toshiba OCZ TR150 (Storage, Images)be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11, 850W Power SupplyWindows 10 Pro (Creators Update)U.S.Intel LGA 1151 (Z370):Intel Core i5-8600K, i7-8700KMSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC4x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200 AMD Socket AM4 AMD Ryzen 7 1700, Ryzen 5 1600XMSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium2x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2667 and 3200 Intel LGA 1151 (Z270) Intel Core i5-7600K MSI Z270 Gaming M72x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200 All EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE 1TB Samsung PM863 SilverStone ST1500, 1500W Windows 10 Creators Update Version 1703|
|Cooling||GermanyAlphacool Eiszeit 2000 ChillerAlphacool Eisblock XPXThermal Grizzly Kryonaut (For Cooler Switch)|
|PC Case||Lian Li PC-T70 with Extension Kit and Mods Configurations: Open Benchtable, Closed Case|
|Power Consumption Measurement||Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card) Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply 2x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function4x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA - 30A, 100kHz, DC) 4x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz) 1x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function|
|Thermal Measurement||1x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording|
|Acoustic Measurement||NTI Audio M2211 (with Calibration File, Low Cut at 50Hz) Steinberg UR12 (with Phantom Power for Microphones)Creative X7, Smaart v.7 Custom-Made Proprietary Measurement Chamber, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2m (L x D x H) Perpendicular to Center of Noise Source(s), Measurement Distance of 50cm Noise Level in dB(A) (Slow), Real-time Frequency Analyzer (RTA) Graphical Frequency Spectrum of Noise|
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I also feel that the availability will be low for Coffee Lake until the end of this year, particularly throughout the holiday season. Due to that concern (as well as the total cost of platform ownership) I think that Ryzen with its 1600 and 1700 CPU's along with the 1600x will be the value kings this year, with Coffee Lake not hitting it's stride until early next year.
The fact that AMD's stuff doesn't have the same availability issues makes it a strong contender, imho, although Black Friday and Christmas sales will also like make Kaby Lake (and even Sky Lake) stuff at clearance prices appealing too, despite the lack of cores you'll find in Ryzen and now Coffee Lake.
and the rare place that has any, such as Microcenter, have gouging prices. Such as selling the plain i7-8700 (not the K version) with an MSRP of $300 for sale for $429.
There are two different sets of graphs, one that looks at CPU only costs and the other that considers CPU, mobo, and cooler costs. In the latter, the 8600K at 4.9GHz is clearly shown to cost more.
Same thing with AMD's Ryzen nnnnX CPUs.
A better GPU?//Why would you do that. at 1080p Ryzen will (bottleneck) hold back powerful GPU's, It won't give you equal performance. I bought a Ryzen for pure gaming and i ended up selling it..
B350 VRM's are pretty low quality for any sort of OC unless it's a mild one so for me that's a no go. If you're primarily into gaming then the 1600 has nothing on the i5, it simply trails it whether at stock settings or OC'd and even at productivity it beats a 1600 Ryzen processors in most task even with a 6 thread deficit so it's a pretty good investment overall.